When’s the last time you competed with one of your kids to read a book? Especially when said child is usually not so interested in anything without a screen? Good thing my bedtime is a little later than his, or else I’d never have gotten my chance to read the latest installment of our son’s favorite Amulet series (so devoted is he that he keeps Books 1, 2, 3, and 4 in the back seat of the car for easy access, to pull out anytime to escape the second-worst-in-the-country, endless traffic). Now that he’s finished, of course he likes to ask every couple of days, “Don’t you have Book Six for me yet?” … followed with, “Can’t you tell the writer to write faster?”!!! Oh, the impatient demands of youth!
Kazu Kibuishi probably gets that sort of response a lot, especially since his cliffhanger-endings have become even better with each volume. “I need the next book,” my son confesses this time around, “because I don’t want to keep thinking about the scary ending.”
Book 5 definitely has intriguing uncertainty woven throughout, even as it reveals unexpected backstories of Max (whose evil power is actually a result of desperately seeking justice when he was a young child) and Trellis (who goes back in time to return with important secrets). Meanwhile, Emily and Vigo are the only remaining Stonekeepers of the once powerful Guardian Council, and they must gather all their strength, wits, and willing friends to fight off the Elk King whose greatest secret weapon just might be Max. The Stone’s Voice(s) grow ever stronger: who can be trusted; who must be challenged?
More than the previous volumes, Book 5 is in constant motion – swirling, jumping, falling, flying, truly swashbuckling! The panels have ‘major motion picture’ written all over them. Mark my words: it’s only a matter of time before we hear ‘coming soon to a theater near you’!
Readers: Middle Grade